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Cricket talks back
02 June 2006

Cricket ball

Catalyst Magazine spoke to Iain Wilton, Head of Communications at the MCC

The MCC has a reputation for epitomising the exclusive male and white nature of the game - do you see that image as being a problem for the club and for the wider game? Is it something you are trying to combat?

MCC has members around the world - although the majority are, perhaps inevitably, concentrated within relatively easy travelling distance of Lord's. We also have players from around the world; for instance, we have been recruiting MCC Young Cricketers from places as different as Afghanistan and St Lucia in recent years.

Our number of female members currently remains relatively low, because of the length of the waiting list - currently around eighteen years - for non-playing members. We do, though, have an ever-growing number of female playing members; indeed, MCC's women's teams are now some of the most active in the country.

we have been doing a huge amount to get children interested in the sport

As far as attracting new audiences to cricket is concerned, we have been doing a huge amount to get children interested in the sport - by, for example, giving free entry to Lord's to thousands of schoolchildren each season. We also run initiatives like the MCC Spirit of Cricket Challenge around the country and, through our Indoor Cricket School, give about 130,000-worth of support, each year, to organisations like Capital Kids Cricket. (Indeed, there will be a Capital Kids Cricket Festival at Lord's next Monday.) We also host the Inner-City World Cup - which was won by the team representing Bangladesh in 2005 - and parts of the London Youth Games.

Peter Wilby criticises ticketing policy – is that fair?

I think it's wrong to make the current blanket statement about Test match ticket prices when - certainly in the case of Lord's - the price levels vary enormously. For example, our Test ticket prices were pitched at a particularly competitive level last May, when we wanted to encourage as many people as possible (particularly from schools and from Britain's Bangladeshi community) to watch Bangladesh's first match at Lord's; inevitably, however, they were set at a higher level for the next Test match, against Australia - which is one of the key fixtures for generating the income on which the whole game depends.

I think it's wrong to make the current blanket statement about Test match ticket prices

We have also frozen, again, children's Twenty20 ticket prices at just 5, as we think that Twenty20 matches are a great way of introducing kids to cricket - and expect to get 20,000-plus crowds for both of the Twenty20 matches that we will be staging here later this month.

Another criticism in the article is the banning of musical instruments in cricket grounds.

Our policy - which is based on comments made, over many years, by our customers - is that spectators should not bring musical instruments into the Ground, as their use by one person (over, potentially, a seven or eight hour period) could severely reduce adjacent spectators' enjoyment of the cricket. Their use on the way into and out of the Ground can also cause considerable annoyance to our neighbours, whose views we take extremely seriously.

However, we do believe that musical entertainment can enhance people's enjoyment of Lord's and, as a result, we spend a substantial five-figure sum each season on booking jazz, marching and steel bands to perform here before the start of play and during the between-innings breaks.

The MCC also wanted to make their feelings known about Ros Asquith’s cartoon:

The Club's record isn't covered at any stage in the accompanying article and the reference on the MCC member's T-shirt makes no sense (as the Club hasn't been responsible for selecting the England team for decades).

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Links

Not-cricket cricket: Peter Wilby on absences of fair play at the crease

Lord's: the home of cricket

Mike Marqusee on cricket: a writer specialising in politics, popular culture and sport

Headingley gropes its way toward colour blindness : Yorkshire have a more inclusive policy now but they have yet to tap the potential on their doorstep - David Conn writes in the Guardian

Nasir M. Khan’s Cricket blog: an American/Pakistani perspective on the world of cricket

The Corridor Of Uncertainty: Views from the boundary edge of cricket

23 Yards: a cricket blog by Amit Varma

Commission for Racial Equality

Publisher of Catalyst Magazine, the CRE works to create a just and integrated society, where diversity is valued.

openDemocracy

Independent political discussion and debate based on exchange and participation.

Prospect Magazine

A political magazine, Prospect also includes features on arts and culture, science, economics, history, social affairs and philosophy.

Runnymede Trust

The Runnymede Trust promotes a successful multi-ethnic Britain.

Institute of Race Relations

The Institute of Race Relations is a race relations thinktank.

EUMC

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Social policy research and development.

For more links, see our new links page.

Search Catalyst

Search For:


Promote Catalyst

If you are able to promote Catalyst in your workplace, university etc, please download our poster, a pdf which can be printed at A4 or A3 size.

Small print

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Articles published in Catalyst do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Commission for Racial Equality.

For advertising or editorial enquiries, please .

rss logo | What is RSS?

This page was last updated on 28/07/2006 17:50:59

 

© Commission for Racial Equality 2007

 

CRE 30 years logo